You know how there are never enough hours in the day? And the weekend is always too short? And time flies when you’re having fun? Yeah, well that’s Life. And one day the one you lead now will be over. And you won’t breathe, or eat, or sleep, or fuck, or smoke, or think an unoriginal thought ever again.
On the one hand it’s liberating to know that none of the crap you’re pulling is going to matter – to you at least – after you’re gone. It’s like permanent vacation. All that stuff you did: Not your problem! Out of Office FOREVER!
On the other hand it can be demoralizing and even paralyzing to decipher the point in trying your hardest, or doing your best, or falling in love, or building anything that matters to you now if eventually it will all be gone from you as you will be gone from it…
I don’t know what the point is in trying, or building, or loving, other than it generally feels good in the moment, and sometimes after the fact.
Years ago I used to be friends with a girl once whose van had tumbled off road, and flipped over. She told me she should have died in the accident and often cited that near-death experience as the catalyst for her to start following her dreams. She opened a dark room, she got involved with (read: revived) a community arts organization, she started a dog walking company, she went back to school. She became kind of a major deal in our neighborhood and I was never not once in awe/proud of her for it.
Our friendship ended twice and I’m okay with that. From what I know she’s still doing well for herself – all demons considered. Which is really the least and most any of us can hope for ourselves and one another.
This week my train to work was delayed, along with many other commuters, because someone died at 42nd street along the A line. I work at a news site but I didn’t want to read the details. I know the person was 16 and that’s enough to sit with you all day when you’re sensitive like I am. All I could think all day was that 16 year old’s death affected so many people today. Whether we acknowledge it or put much weight into it we are all very much connected in this life.
I was late to work that day – many of us were – but I was alive.
Which when you think of it we all are. I mean the human body is fucking magical. That we breathe and drink and our hearts pump blood while we cling to the center of a floating rock with oceans and an atmosphere that floats around a giant ball of fire… I mean, what else is all of that if not miraculous blessed sorcery? But magic being real is another post for another time, and I leave it to far more informed and qualified bloggers to tackle the subject of our inherent divinity.
Still, with all the magic and gadgetry and wonder around us it’s easy to forget we’re mortal. Until someone we love dies, or we witness an accident, or we experience injury or a health scare it’s so easy to forget this life is temporary.
What’s the point of waiting or fearing the consequences? When the ultimate consequence is YOU’RE GOING TO DIE? So what if you fuck up or it goes wrong? That’s not a problem.
Bottling your feels, sitting on your ideas, hiding your ambitions, stifling your desires is a problem. Second guessing your instincts is a problem. Seeking validation from others and asking permission to be yourself is a problem.
People died today. People are going to die tomorrow. People are dying all around the world, for nothing. For greed, for agendas, for their beliefs, for ideologies which I’m in no position to judge no matter how much I read. People are dying all the time and they’re going to keep doing it. And I’m going to die and you’re going to die.
So what the fuck is the real issue?
It’s fearing the outcome. It’s accepting lingering unhappiness or settling for anything less than what truly gives you joy. The issue is getting distracted by basic things that really won’t matter when I’m dead. The issue is forgetting to YOLO, or not making time for the people you love most, or not taking a risk and hollering at the cutie with the accent. The issue is ever forgetting for a minute that we are all going to die.